Consumers count on their bedding, towels, and pillows holding up and remaining soft throughout their lifetime. Any defects like improper stitching, holes, spots, tearing, harmful chemicals, or improper flammability can damage your brand’s reputation, open your business up to liability claims, and saddle you with costly recalls.
You can avoid that by getting expert home textile inspection from QIMA, a supply chain compliance firm. The company has six in-house labs and a team of trained textile experts who can hunt for the smallest imperfections. They work with businesses in 85 countries and are keenly aware of international regulations that apply to your products.
These experts check for dimensional stability, seam strength, vapor resistance, color shading, and flammability, among other key characteristics. A smoother process between you and your customers saves time and money. Inspections and quality control allow you to peer into every aspect of your supply chain, even if it’s scattered around the world.
One of the more prominent inspection systems comes from OKEO-TEX, a Japanese-European consortium of 18 independent research and test institutes. Together, they develop the standards for various certifications and marks for products. The company supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The consortium’s Standard 100 certification allows manufacturers of home textiles to label their products as meeting stringent conditions. Companies can request extensions to this certification and agree to regular, independent audits. Most of the time, this happens every three years. Such a designation can help you comply with retailers’ lists of restricted substances and shows consumers your interest in making sustainable products.
Fines for violating strict regulations on flammability can run you up to $6,000 per product. QIMA inspectors can ensure your products can be sold in the United States by testing them in relation to three classes of flammability, with the third being the most severe. The U.S. bars the sale of any textile items considered “dangerously flammable,” or with short burn times in fabric testing. This does sometimes depend on the type of material.
Chemicals are also important, of course, since the presence of any harmful substances can have an array of health effects. These include respiratory and skin irritation, various cancers, and organ damage. Inspectors will pore over products for banned carcinogenic dyes, Hexavalent Chromium, and formaldehyde.
Founded in 1921, the nonprofit American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists helps develop test methods across the textile industry. They include home laundering, including hand and machine washing, and checking any transfer of free permethrin from textile surfaces. The association reviews its testing standards — like reactions to perspiration and light — every five years.
According to data firm Statista, consumers will spend $66.5 billion a year on home textiles by the year 2030. This includes sheets and bedding, which make up most of the home textiles sold each year. Getting testing, inspections, and insight into your entire process can be invaluable when the market is only going to get bigger.